BY ISN STAFF | December 8, 2014
SEATTLE, WA – Seattle University became the fourth Jesuit university to earn “Fair Trade University” status from Fair Trade Campaigns. Seattle joins Creighton University, Loyola Marymount University, and Saint Joseph’s University, and is also the first university in the Pacific Northwest to earn the status. Fair Trade Campaigns is a grassroots movement mobilizing thousands of conscious consumers and Fair Trade advocates on campuses and communities across the USA.
The campaign for Fair Trade status culminated in the university’s adoption of a Fair Trade resolution which was announced at a campus event on November 24. The event also featured the unveiling of a new brand of Nicaraguan Fair Trade coffee that eventually will be for sale on campus. A grant from Fair Trade Colleges and Universities USA supported both the campaign and the new coffee. Sue Jackels, Ph.D., professor of chemistry and Quan Le, Ph.D., associate professor of economics, worked with students in the SU Global Business Club to move the Fair Trade initiative forward.The resolution was supported by Rev. Stephen Sundborg, S.J., president of Seattle University and passed by the student government. Before signing the agreement, Father Sundborg spoke of the people directly impacted by Fair Trade practices, saying, “You only need to be among the people where coffee is grown to realize what a difference Fair Trade means for them and their families, their livelihoods, their futures and their hopes.” Sundbourg had just returned from a trip to El Salvador and traveled to Nicaragua with a Seattle University group earlier this year.
On the announcement Fair Trade Colleges and Universities campaign coordinator Parker Townley said the following:
“Seattle University has demonstration its commitment to Fair Trade through numerous initiatives. Students, staff, and faculty have worked over the years to partner with institutions like the Universidad CentroAmericana (UCA) Nicaragua to help farming organizations understand how to better harness and market themselves to international markets. This sharing of expertise allows scholars and academics to make practical use of their skills and knowledge in a way that honors SeattleUniversity’s commitment to both Fair Trade and Catholic Social Teachings. In addition through the direct sale of Fair Trade products on campus Seattle University ensures critical market access for the farmers and artisans with which it has formed partnerships.”
[SOURCES: Seattle University, Fair Trade Campaigns]